Today I’m participating in a “Show Us Your Planner” linkup at CatholicMom.com. Since the middle of the summer, Lisa Hess has been writing about organization for students, for your home, and finally for your personal time-management issues. Lately, she’s been talking planners–one of my favorite subjects!
A couple of weeks ago, I found an article online that refines to an amazing degree what I am already doing: the Strikethru method. I don’t use all the steps to the method described in that article, but since I am, in Lisa Hess’s terms, an “I Need To See It” person (and even more than that, “I Need To Write It”) this planning method works for me.
Basically, my planner is in two parts: a notebook and a planner.
I got the notebook at Barnes & Noble, because it was cute. But you can use looseleaf, or a legal pad, or whatever for the notebook part.
I get my planners from Michele Quigley, a Catholic mom who makes beautiful planners. These planners contain a monthly 2-page view and a weekly view. They also include the readings of the day, feast-day listings, quotes from the saints, monthly papal prayer intentions and some prayer pages. (And note the beautiful cover with the San Damiano Cross! There are quite a few cover choices but this one is my favorite.)
Here’s what the weekly view looks like: Sunday through Wednesday on one page, Thursday through Saturday (plus quote and tiny monthly calendar) on the other.
I start by using my notebook as a place to dump out all the things I need to schedule into my week.
After I get that list out of my head and onto paper, I start adding items to days in my planner.
For me, it helps if I use keywords in caps, like CALL, SEND, WRITE, BUY, ERRAND, HOME, EMAIL.
A little circle next to an item means I’ve added it to the planner. A check mark means it’s done. YES, I do write things down on the list after I’ve done them, just so I can have the satisfaction of checking them off.
And the dinner plan is done in pencil for a reason. That is the most subject-to-change part of my schedule.
This planner has a section in the back that I use for work notes and book-review lists, so I can keep those items separate from my home and family tasks and appointments. That section is really a lesson-planning supplement, an add-on purchase, but since it’s basically a 7X6 grid across 2 pages, it can be used for anything and it works well for me. Most of my work stuff is on a shared Google calendar anyway.
I do add personal appointments to my own Google calendar so I can access that info on the go, but I feel much more in control of my schedule when I can write it down in a planner.
Show us YOUR planner! Write about your planner at your blog and link it over at CatholicMom.com. If you don’t have a blog, share into about your planner and how you use it in the comment box.